For the first time since March, malls across Tamil Nadu will be allowed to reopen starting September 1. As part of a new list of ‘unlock’ measures released by the government, clubs and hotels will also be allowed to resume business. However, Theatres — even those within malls — continue to remain shut until further notice.
In keeping with the Centre’s unlock guidelines released on Saturday the Chennai Metro Rail will resume operations starting September 7, while state transport buses will hit the roads again from September 1. Public parks will reopen from Tuesday, as well.
“Playground areas and public spaces used for exercising are permitted to be reopened,” said a state government order issued on Sunday, “Resorts, recreational clubs and entertainment parks can reopen provided they adhere to standard operating protocols.”
In keeping with the Centre’s advisory to states, e-passes for inter-district movement within Tamil Nadu will be scrapped, allowing for the free movement of passengers and cargo between districts. However, e-passes will continue to remain mandatory for visits to Tamil Nadu’s two most popular tourist destinations, Ooty and Kodaikanal.
The state’s much-criticized total lockdown on Sundays has also been scrapped, following the Centre’s directive that no local lockdowns may be imposed by states. All places of worship are allowed to reopen but subject to a separate SOPs on congregation numbers. However, a government directive has banned “religious gatherings” within the state.
“All religious gatherings, community and political gatherings, including cultural, educational events and processions will continue to remain banned,” said the order. The government has permitted shooting of films, so long as the crew on set is restricted to 75 people.